Tag Archives: Author Branding

Update!

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Update!

I’m getting close to publishing my book and shooting for a tentative date of May 1st. The excitement is really building. I am in the middle of edits and creating video tutorials that will be included in the ebook and referenced in the paperback.

The book is fully illustrated to demonstrate design concepts and theory. I’ve worked hard to keep the information you’ll find straightforward and useful.

I have beta readers and a content editor going over it now which is just awesome!  I’ve gotten feedback on the first chapter and it was fantastic!

Huge thanks to

Peter Clark Nelson,

Julaina Kleist-Corwin,

and

Dawn Lewis!


Spoiler Alert!

This first chapter starts off where it counts, Author Branding. I explain the process and provide easy to follow exercises to assist the reader in defining their brand as a whole. Covering these basics will help the reader define what their brand looks like. It will help them create a theme and style guide they will follow across their author platforms with all their author graphics.


Back to Work!

There’s still ton’s of work to do and I’m doing my best to balance my book with my work as a designer. I’ll have new cover designs to share with you on Monday 🙂

My book will be free in ebook format on Amazon for the first three days after its launch!

Thanks for all of your support!

A Recent Author Full Brand Image Project & Book Launch

I had the awesome opportunity to do a full brand image project for an amazing new author Kathrin Hutson. I am reading Kat’s book “Daughter of the Drackan” now and having a hard time putting it down. It has just launched, so you can get your copy on Amazon now.

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Book One of Gyenona’s Children:  Born of humans but raised by beasts who despise the legacy of man, Keelin is the only one who can redeem, or destroy, the future of both races. Keelin is the only human fledgling, weaned by the drackans of the High Hills and given their instincts, ferocious strength, and fierce hatred for humankind. But even the drackans closest to her cannot explain why she has violent blackouts from which she wakens covered in blood. A desperate, reckless search for the source of this secret brings her face to face with the human world and memories from a locked-away past, long forgotten. Keelin becomes a terrifying legend among human assassins while she hunts for answers, and the human realm’s High King is murdered. While a sickly steward hides within crumbling walls, commanding her every move with a magic he should not possess, Keelin’s journey to track him down threatens her loyalty to the drackans who raised her. The rogue who crosses her path hides familiar secrets, echoing her own terrifying blood-lust and forcing her to consider that there may be something human about her after all.

Mother of the Drackan, Book Two of Gyenona’s Children, is set for release Spring 2016.

Get Your Copy Now On

Amazon

Kat is also a professional editor that I highly recommend


Below is the entire package I designed if you want to check it out 🙂

Book Cover Design

(Illustration done by Chandler Steele)


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Book Marketing Teasers

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Book Posters

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Discovering Your Brand

Discovering Your Brand

Creating an author platform is vital for a new author’s success, and creating a brand is the basis for the platform. You need to know what you are creating before you start!

Branding is simpler than it sounds. You have already done the hard part by branding yourself for your author bios creation. You discovered all of the aspects of you that make up your brand. Use these as a resource for content creation on your blog and across your social networks. Sharing things that are relative to the You brand will gain the interest of people who are attracted to that type of content and they will want to connect with you.

Now all that is left are the finishing touches to make your brand complete. It is important to complete the branding process because your entire platforms success rests on the power behind your brand.

Review of what you covered in the All About You portion of the last chapter:

1. What is your gender and your age?
2. How do others see you?
3. How do you want others to see you?
4. What do you read?
5. What do you write?
6. What attracts you to other people?
7. What attracts people to you?
8. What is your best feature?
9. What do you find most interesting?
10. What inspires you?
11. What do you care about and put effort into?
12. Who would you like to be in three years?
13. What are your dreams?
14. What is the book you have always wanted to write?
15. What is the book you are scared to write?

These questions will reveal what makes you unique; I’m sure you can come up with many of your own questions too. What’s important is that you have this very basic list to begin with. The answers to these questions should give you a sense of direction when it comes to creating content for your blog, writing your books, and marketing yourself. Now make a new list of themes you see developing from your list, there are a few ideas for your first blog posts. You are a writer, an individual with a precious and continually growing gift that can now be shared with the world in confidence.

It’s time to make another list. Be sure to maintain a positive outlook and mention what matters:

1. Who are you, what descriptions best suit your personality?
2. What’s your best feature, what’s the first thing people notice about you?
3. What makes you likable, even lovable?
4. What do you think is fun?
5. What makes you different or what makes you the same as others?
6. What do people remember about you, what stands out?
7. What do you write about?
8. What do you want to write about?
9. What is your product?
10. What are your interests?
11. How do you view the world or the world you create?
12. What are your hopes, dreams, and aspirations?
13. Who are you influenced by, you may be similar to them?
14. Where have you been and where are you going?
15. Do you have any awards or have you won or entered any competitions?
16. Are there any media mentions of you?
17. Do you have recommendations from notable people?
18. Do you have any special achievements that relate to your brand?
19. Do you volunteer?
20. Do you have a special hobby?
21. Do you belong to any special groups?
22. Do you belong to any organizations or associations?
23. What are some exciting things that have happened to you?
24. Were you inspired by a famous relative?

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Also, reveal some details about your writing by answering the following questions:

  1. How do you want to be known?

Try to imagine how you would like to be known by the public, what image are you wanting to portray to your fans. You don’t want to be someone you’re not, but some aspects of yourself aren’t meant to be shared. It’s important that no matter what image you wish to portray, that you stay true to yourself and that you maintain an air of professionalism.

  1. What words do you want people to associate with you?

Do a short brainstorming session and write down words that are associated with the way you would like to be known by the public. This is a fun exercise where you may come up with some new ideas that are related to your brand. Admit it, you love descriptive words, round up a bunch that relate to your desired author image and write them down. Try things like – vivacious, sassy, inspiring, hungry, boisterous, – these are great words that you can use when creating graphics for your platform and marketing purposes. These are also words to remember in order to brand your writing, words that describe who you are and flavor your writing style. These words will become, if they are not already, part of your voice when writing.

  1. What are your goals for the next 3 years?

It’s always a good idea to have a plan of action. Just like a start-up, your business of writing is going places, where would you like it to go? This is something you can map out. You could start by writing out your goal at three years, then split that into three and write down a goal for year one and year two. Next you could break these years into quarters, like seasons, imagine obtainable goals on your way to your yearly goals which will get you to your final goal. You could dissect this further, break those seasons into months and imagine even smaller, more obtainable goals month to month that will get you to your seasonal goals. Now you have a plan of action, a direction to focus your efforts. This is where you should dream big, don’t be afraid to write down a three year goal that is desirable even if it appears to be unobtainable today in your real world. Maybe you’d like to be on a television program as a guest in three years, it may seem impossible, but it’s a reachable goal just like any other. Dream big and take the small steps to get you there. What you believe can be.

You may not be the type of person that would dream in that direction, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Write down some other desire as a writing goal and map your way to that one. The point is you will have a roadmap to get you there when you are done, and that sometimes can make all the difference in the world when it comes to personal success.

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  1. What words are associated with that?

Another fun activity! Get out a fresh piece of blank paper and write down all the words that are associated with your three year goal and the smaller goals you’ve outlined that will get will get you to that ultimate goal. When you’re done you should have some key action words that will help you hone your brand and steer it toward your goal. These word will help to keep you focused and can drive the content of your writing in the direction you are aiming for. Try words like – speaking engagements, influencer, book signing, television appearances, podcasting, interviewing, volunteering, – you are the creator of your own reality and these words will help you to shape your reality over the next three years.

  1. Will your books be in a particular genre?

The genre of a book is defined by its broad subject, its language, the age level of its readers, whether it is fiction or non-fiction and/or its subject.

Some examples of genres are:  romance, historical romance, erotica, spiritual, transformational, western, thriller, fantasy, horror, adventure, mystery, science fiction, dark fiction, guides, textbooks, biographies, autobiographies, children’s, young adult, memoirs, poetry, chapter, and scholarly books.

To determine your ideal readers, do an internet search on your genre along with the words “readers” and “demographics”.

  • Who is your reader?
  • How old are they?
  • Man or woman?
  • Children or none?
  • Grandchildren?
  • Occupation?
  • Activities?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their ethnicity?

Examine all of the traits of your target reader and note any trends. These trends describe your ideal reader. These trends are part of your brand and will help you when creating content for your blog and in your marketing endeavors.

  1. What is the premise of your book?

One effective trick for defining your premise is to write a one-sentence logline that will become the foundation of your story. The Logline is a tool used primarily by screenwriters, but it can be very helpful if you’re writing a novel or a short story.

  1. What are the themes in your book?

Themes are central ideas in a piece of writing. Anything that relates to the theme or plot of your books is included in your brand. Your themes in your book can drive your content. Themes can branch out to include many topics and will attract the kind of people who would be interested in your book. The content you create can be related to a topic or theme that’s even loosely woven throughout your book.

  1. What types of characters are in your book

The characters in your book have traits and can be branded just like you branded yourself in the previous chapter. This would be considered a branching off point had you mapped your brand in the tree fashion. You can use all of this information about your characters to come up with relative content for your blog and to attract readers that would find your characters interesting or that they can relate to. This is also a great way to figure out what groups or types of people you should be connecting with after your platform is set-up.

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  1. What images do you want associated with your brand?

It’s time to start thinking of your look. Do you want to appear playful, concise, creative, or colorful? Start imagining images that you will use to include in your blog posts, what type will they be? Will you use info-graphics, cartoons, text, abstract, dark, bright, purchased images that reflect aspects of your brand? What trends will your images follow? The imagery you use plays a major role in defining who you are and what you have to offer to your audience.

The three major images that will speak the loudest to the public are your website banner, your head-shot, and your book cover. These three images give a visual testament to what you have to offer with your platform, they are the face of your brand and a major selling point. The other most important imagery is the imagery you will use in your social networking shares, such as book teasers and quotes. This imagery all reflects upon who you are and what your readers can find in your work.

All of the things that you have associated to be a part of your brand should be taken into consideration when developing your imagery. Your imagery can be as powerful as the words you have to share and they speak volumes. I highly recommend that you hire a professional designer to work with you as you create content for your platform, set up your website and blog, and create the covers for your books.

If you insist on doing this on your own then it will seriously benefit you to buy a subscription to Adobe Photoshop through the Adobe website. Photoshop is relatively inexpensive and can handle all of the demands a designer requires. You can find plenty of video tutorials on the adobe website that will teach you how to use the program and there are endless amounts of tutorials on the web as well. I will go further into creating your own imagery, finding free imagery, or purchasing your imagery in a future chapter.

For now it is important to start thinking about the imagery you will use as a design package that will represent you. The pictures you use are your visual voice.

Combining all of this information into a chart will give you a visual reference to the substance of your brand. Post it where you write and use it for inspiration when developing content. Your brand is as unique as your voice. By researching what has been outlined regarding you and your brand you have created your platform brand and now should have plenty of resources for what to blog about or share on your social networks. Congratulations, you have created your brand!

Author Tip: How to Brand Yourself

How to Brand Yourself

by Michelle Rene Goodhew

Your author platform will be based on your brand and your brand stems from who you are, how you present yourself and how you are perceived.

Your platform begins with you and you ultimately define your brand. Your brand must start with you and stay true to you.  Your brand is you, heart and soul.

Some people find this part of branding the most difficult. Figuring out how to see yourself as a brand can seem hard to grasp at first but is actually really easy.

You are a fascinating person with all kinds of interesting aspects of yourself that are unique and can be added into your author brand.

What you look like, what you wear, how you pose for pictures, these all can be inviting portions of your brand. Are you fun, are you approachable, and are your interests interesting. What you read makes up part of what inspires you to write, so that is also a portion of who you are and should be included in your brand. This doesn’t mean you should list the books and articles you’ve read, it means the themes and content of those things is a major interest to you and a major influence to your writing.

What are you always searching for on the internet, what are your questions or concerns about being an author, what do you have a passion for, what are you wanting most out of your career as an author and what do you believe you have to offer.

Your Voice:

Your personality shines through your writing. Who you are in your writing will be how you connect emotionally to the public. Be authentic, allow yourself to grow as a writer and project your personality through your writing. Your voice will capture your public and bring them back for more of who you are when you write.

Your Look:

How you portray yourself through your graphics and especially through your head-shot speaks volumes to your growing network. How do you want to be seen, be sure that whatever fashion you choose to be perceived is done through a professional manner. How you look reflects on what you have to offer. It is worth the extra bills to have a professional head-shot done that reflects how you would like to be perceived and possibly gives a clue to your unique voice. When it comes to graphics a picture tells a thousand words and a professional graphics artist usually speaks that language best, hire one.

What You Read:

What you soak up as a reader is absorbed and morphs into a part of what makes you, you. It influences the way you write and what you write about and those concepts and themes become a major portion of your brand.

Your Ideology:

Your beliefs and ideals will come through in your writing, people will recognize these core values and many may be drawn by them, or even put off by them. Beliefs can inspire or repulse. Choose what you wish to share wisely as it will have an impact on your audience.

Your Personal Passion:

Your passion for what you write will speak volumes. Your dreams, desire, and faith in what you share will be heard loud and clear. Speak from your heart with authenticity and your words will move people. In general, people are attracted to what has the ability to move them emotionally in a positive manner.

Your Content:

Your content is your catch; this is how you bait your readers into following your blog and investing in your writing. The content you choose to write about should be relative to who you are and what you are selling.

Your Communication:

How you communicate with others throughout your network is a trait that will attract and keep dedicated followers who will cross promote you. What you say and how you say it creates a personal relationship between you and the people in your network. This is the public’s opportunity to see how you interact with people and they are given the chance to become emotionally invested in you and your brand. What you have to say matters and will reflect on what you have to sell.

Make a list of all of these aspects and you have the portion of your brand that is you. It will be an impressive list when it comes to dreaming up new content for your blog. You are your best resource for ideas and you will find that who you are will be your most successful marketing aspect.

How to Brand YourselfAnother way to map out the brand of You is to make a tree, where you are the trunk and all of these aspects are branches reaching ever outward and defining who you are. Branding yourself is a journey of self-discovery, an enlightening adventure. This journey should not be something to dread, the discovery of who you are fills a deep need for belonging in this world and is one of the most gratifying projects in this book. Who you are will always continue to grow and evolve beyond who you are now. You have everything to look forward to in that this project of You, this portion of your brand, is one great adventure unfolding.

Where to start?

I am a list person, if this project is daunting to you then let’s take it step by step. Get out your notebook and let’s make a list of all of these things that define the You brand first.

  1. what is your gender and your age
  2. how do others see you
  3. how do you want others to see you
  4. what do you read
  5. what do you write
  6. what attracts you to other people
  7. what attracts people to you
  8. what is your best feature
  9. what do you find most interesting
  10. what inspires you
  11. what do you care about and put effort into
  12. who would you like to be in three years
  13. what are your dreams
  14. what is the book you have always wanted to write
  15. what is the book you are scared to write

These questions will reveal what makes you unique; I’m sure you can come up with many of your own questions too. What’s important is that you have this very basic list to begin with. The answers to these questions should give you a sense of direction when it comes to creating content for your blog, writing your books, and marketing yourself. This is the You brand.

Now make a new list of themes you see developing from your list, there are a few ideas for your first blog posts. You are a writer, an individual with a precious and continually growing gift that can now be shared with the world in confidence.


For Cover Design, Illustration, & Marketing Graphics, Contact Michelle Rene

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What Is Being An Indie Author All About

By Michelle Rene Goodhew

If you are an independent author or a writer on your way to becoming published, this articles for you.

Sitting on your laurels and basking in the glow of being published is not necessarily success.

Success is also about amassing a fan base of the work you have written, of receiving the payment that comes from your words being appreciated by a large assortment of the public.

Your book deserves the kind of time and attention that creating a best-seller requires.

I’m not saying that getting to the point of publishing does not deserve a feeling of success, but it may be only a point on the road to success, not a stopping point.

Becoming a successful author is more about a structured system of actions, business savvy, marketing strategy, and your ability to maintain a healthy and positive attitude. You are responsible for discovering just how good things can get, what real and full potential your book has. Becoming a successful author requires that you put in the effort required to give your book its best chances at becoming a worthwhile work of art.

A Structured System of Actions for Indie Authors

A Structured System of Actions:

Get on board with the self-publishing industry. Take the time to establish connections and network your author brand. It’s important to connect with other authors, people involved in the publishing industry such as editors, reviewers, bloggers, readers, journalists, radio hosts, television hosts, producers, directors, media personnel, and graphic designers…anyone in the industry that could help you succeed. Connecting to groups of people that might have an interest in your author brand is a bit more tricky, but enormously necessary in getting the word out there about your new book.

Talk to the people in your network, comment on their posts, wish them happy birthday, laugh with them, cry with them, but make them remember who you are. People that care about you are 95% more likely to purchase your book and recommend it to others. As an author you attain an almost immediate celebrity status, leverage that status with a network you develop through careful consideration of who would be driven or motivated to purchase your book.

That said, know your brand. Read more about author branding here. Knowing your brand is crucial in growing your following and establishing interest in your book before it is published. If you have already published, it won’t hurt to revisit your brand and begin again with a possible rewrite or by starting to establish a larger following by gearing your writing and marketing efforts in relation to your brand.

Indie Author Business Savvy

Business Savvy:

Becoming an independent author is very much similar to becoming a business owner. It is like launching a start-up. Your business as an author requires almost daily attention. It pays to be educated, get to know the publishing industry by reading blogs from other authors or articles and books related to the business of self-publishing. These are resources you can use, and people you can network with, all of which will help serve you on your road to becoming a best-selling author.

Knowledge is power. The questions you have can be the subjects of articles that you write and can begin to amass a following to your blog that you will have created on your author website. Yes, you have to establish certain accounts and will have a schedule and a list of daily actions to perform much like a business owner.

Treating your writing as a business will ensure that you give it the respect that it deserves and the attention that it requires in order to be successful. Just as it requires three years for a business to become established and start to see profits, so will it be for your business of writing. Buckle down and take the necessary steps required to learn the ins and outs of your trade and discover how to make an impact and up your profit margin.

Marketing Strategy for Indie Authors

Marketing Strategy:

After you create your online presence you can begin implementing a marketing strategy immediately, before you publish. Marketing your book is about marketing your author brand and developing your author platform. Do this now so you don’t make the mistake of having to back-track later. It’s no fun to be sitting on a published work with the crickets chirping because no one knows who you are or what you have published.

If you are a shy individual, it’s time to get over it or you’ll most likely never get anywhere in the publishing world and remain a nobody. You can’t expect to reach success without hard work, creative planning, and decisive action. You are now a business owner with a product you need to sell to be successful. Learning about the world of social media will help, understanding marketing strategy will help too, but there is nothing without your ability to take action on what you have learned.

Your marketing strategy will determine the number of books that you sell, period, beyond the purchases of family and friends. And let’s face it, is that really all you’re aiming for, to be published, only recognized by your immediate peers, not having used the huge assortment of assistance, guidance, support, and resources that are available to you. Do you really want your book collecting dust, or are you hoping that a fairly large number of people will enjoy it, dreaming of getting to that place where you can truly feel successful and call yourself an author. Setting up and working a well thought out marketing plan will get you those sales, and it’s worth it.

Healthy and Positive Attitude for Indie Authors

Your Ability to Maintain a Healthy and Positive Attitude:

In the publishing industry, success can be more easily acquired if you maintain the right mindset. It is important to remember that you live in a universe of abundance. That when you think a thought, at least ten thousand other souls are thinking of something along the same lines. A person with a positive outlook would see that as ten thousand possible purchases already attained from the point of concept in creating their best-seller. That ten thousand people would find your subject matter intriguing and would be inspired to buy your book is a completely realistic idea.

The world’s population is currently 7.3 billion people, that brings your immediate readership to a statistic of .00000137 percent of the world’s population at the moment you thought of your plot. If ten thousand people buy your book, you are already a best-selling author. The odds are already stacked in your favor. You can break onto the New York Times Bestseller List in certain categories with sales as small as 3,000 copies sold. It all depends on the category of your book and what else you’re competing with in a certain week. Three thousand copies, Can you believe it? If your wonderful book doesn’t make it, remember that there are many other marketing tools that can help propel your title just as well: other newspaper lists, awards, editor’s recommendations, reviews, and word of mouth. If your book is good, people will find it and love it!


So it’s time to get your head in the game. You are responsible for using the resources you have at your disposal in your marketing efforts in order to catapult your book to success. What’s that old motto, you don’t know until you try? Well doesn’t your mark on the world deserve your best efforts just to see how many people will experience the appreciation of what you have created? This is your baby, treat it as such, and give it the care and attention it deserves.


Contact Michelle Rene

for Cover Design & More

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